Tiger WoodsDecember 9, 2015

"He's not remotely interested in retiring." Writer offers more from his revealing Tiger Woods Q&A

Veteran golf writer Lorne Rubenstein got Tiger Woods to open up like we've never seen for an interview that ran in Time Magazine. Now Rubenstein has offered his take on how the big Q&A with Big Cat all went down.

In a post on scoregolf.com called "The Goods on Woods," Rubenstein says the interview took place over lunch at the golfer's restaurant, The Woods Jupiter, and that it lasted nearly two and a half hours (transcribing it all took another 16 hours) and included a "sweet moment" with Woods' mom, Tida. Rubenstein said no topics were off limits and that Woods was quick to answer every question and follow-up.

Many have interpreted some of Woods' words both in the interview and his Hero World Challenge press conference as an indication he's thinking about walking away from competitive golf. The writer who has spent the most time with him of late, however, says he didn't get that impression at all.

"It was clear to me that Tiger wants to return to competition if and when he can get healthy again. He’s not remotely interested in retiring," writes Rubenstein, who has covered golf for four decades, most notably for the Toronto Globe and Mail. "Yes, he's willing to help gifted young golfers such as Jason Day and Rory McIlroy, to cite a couple of obvious names, but he craves getting in the mix with them again down the stretch of tournaments, including majors."

Rubenstein explains that since the interview didn't appear in a golf magazine, some of the especially golf-y parts of the conversation weren't published. In the post, he provides more from Woods.

On what it's like to be in the zone:

"It’s being aware, but also being unaware. It’s a strange feeling, because I’m aware of everything going on around me, but then again, I’m also unaware of everything because of what I’m doing. It’s a contradiction to what I’m saying, I know, but I think that sportsmen and women can probably understand that."

On "fixing" or "saving a shot" in the middle of his swing, something his dad had him work on growing up:

"Yeah, that was fun and games, but it did train me to be able to hit shots like that. But also to save the shot, when things aren’t going well, oh man, I made a terrible backswing. I’m going to really have to slide my hips on this to delay the hit, or this ball’s going dead left. Maybe just delay it a split second, so I slide my hips a little bit forward. Or other times, oh my god, I really have to release these hips and open them up. I’ve gotta push off this right foot. Okay, I have to delay the hands, slow down the upper body, or I’ve gotta speed up my left arm, or my right arm, extend it now. I feel all these things."

And on his first surgery in 1994, while he was at Stanford, "when they sliced the hell out of the back of my knee."

After having his back sliced up twice recently, Woods, who turns 40 at the end of the month, says he has "no timetable" for a return. Based on Rubenstein's comments, though, fans should at least be encouraged that a return will happen.


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